By Omonu YG Nelson
The Republic of Liberia, December 5 presented its country report to the ongoing Second Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja. The report highlighted the country’s progress in various areas, including political stability, economic development, and human rights.
The report read by Hon. Steve Zargo, explained that “Liberia continues to make remarkable progress in various thematic areas, including political stability, economic development, and human rights. The country’s recent general elections were conducted peacefully, transparently, and fairly, earning it the title of a “beacon of democracy” in Africa. On the economic front, Liberia has made significant strides, as evidenced by its improved performance in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Scorecard and its progress in meeting the ECOWAS convergence criteria. Additionally, the country has advanced its human rights credentials by strengthening political and human rights protections.
“Liberia’s political landscape is characterized by a deepening of democratic principles. The country recently conducted a free, fair, and transparent general election, which was widely praised for its credibility and peaceful nature. The election resulted in a peaceful transfer of power, further solidifying Liberia’s democratic credentials.”
On economic front, the report says, “the Liberian economy has shown signs of improvement, as evidenced by its performance in the MCC Scorecard. The country met four out of the six macroeconomic convergence criteria prescribed by ECOWAS, indicating progress towards economic stability. Additionally, Liberia made strides in addressing its non-performing loans (NPLs) in the banking sector.”
Speaking on the human rights situation in the country, the explained that, “Liberia has made notable progress in upholding human rights and civil liberties. The country has improved its score in the MCC Scorecard, particularly in areas such as freedom of information and freedom of expression. Moreover, the government has demonstrated a commitment to protecting individual rights by ensuring freedom of speech and facilitating the return of political dissidents.”
On the implementation of Community protocil, the report emphasised that, “Liberia has made progress in implementing several ECOWAS protocols, including the Protocol Relating to Community Levy and the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS). However, challenges remain in fully adhering to certain aspects of these protocols, such as the application of the Community Levy on specific products.”
The report also says, “ECOWAS has provided significant assistance to Liberia in various areas, including elections, flood relief, food security, and security sector reform. This assistance has played a crucial role in supporting Liberia’s development efforts.”
The report concluded that, “Liberia is on a positive trajectory towards political stability, economic growth, and human rights advancement. The country’s recent achievements, particularly in the areas of elections, economic performance, and human rights, demonstrate its commitment to democratic principles and sustainable development. ECOWAS’ continued support will be instrumental in further consolidating Liberia’s progress.”